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Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here CD (album) cover

WISH YOU WERE HERE

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.62 | 2831 ratings

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ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
5 stars After such a masterpiece in rock history, such a commercial success (over 40 millions albums sold so far - 2006), no one could believe that the Floyd could supersede DSOTM. I did not quite know what I was going to discover with WYWH.

So far the Floyd had produced quite a lot of average to good albums with terrible moments : "Ummagumma" studio album, "AHM" 's second side and "Meddle" 's first one.

At that time (in 1975 - no Internet) I had not the luxury of some later fans that could discover this album long time after its release, having read so many reviews and then make their choice to purchase the album. I really had no clue about what I was going to discover. So, here we go.

"Shine on You Crazy Diamond" : first of all, it refers, again, about craziness (after "Brain Damage" on DSOTM) and is an ode to Syd. He will attend some studio sessions while the Floyd were recording this track. Dave asked "Who is this guy ?" to one of the band personnel. He had not recognize Syd, although they were friends from school time ! (none of the band did so, thinking that this person was an undertaker). The track "Wish You Were Here" is dedicated to him. It is very much inspired by him and his great influence on the band.

"Shine on You" is split into two on the album due to the lack of space (although I'm a bit sceptic about that : second side of "Selling England", for instance, reaches more than 28 minutes, so this track could have fit onto one side perfectly. Anyway when I listen to it now, I put both tracks one after the other and listen to the whole piece as being one. During some concerts of that era (prior to the release of the album), only available on bootlegs like "Cruel But Fair " in L.A. and "Black Holes In The Sky" at Wembley, they will perform the whole track in a row. This is how I prefer it.

It is one of very best Floyd song ever written. A fantastic spacey intro, great guitar and superb key moments. A LOT of feeling (remember it refers to Syd : "You were caught in the crossfire of childhood and stardom, blown on the steel breeze").

A magical moment. I will probably ask to have this one be played on my burial ceremony (but I'm not in a hurry, the later the better). A personal detail : I used to play a CD when I go to sleep / wake up and usually change frequently (every week or so). For more than a month now, I play "Shine" part I to V at night, and wake up with Part VI to IX. What a glorious way to start / finish a day.

"Welcome to the Machine" is another fabulous Floyd song. Not commercial like "Money" of course and absent from any Floyd compil : this might be a proof of excellence though. Heaven is at hand (I would be inspired to also get that one for my burial party) !

At this time of review (December 3rd, 2006), I will go and attend a concert from one of the most fantastic Floyd cover band I know : "The Machine". On this tour tour they will play the whole of "The Wall" and "Wish You Were Here". I expect a gorgeous evening. I'll tell you more after the concert.

...Since I post this review after editing it more than six weeks after, I can tell you that it was quite an emotional moment for me to have this wonderful album rendered live again. Some might argue about cover bands but when they reach such level of quality I can only say "Bravo" (which I did by the way).

"Have a Cigar" is alo a very good track. A famous line of the song, but maybe this fact is not known by everbody (althoug it is true), says : "Which One Is Pink" ? and refers to an American record executive having the band in front of him and asking this stupid question.

The title track was the one with which the whole album started.

Dave will say : "The whole thing started out of that first guitar thing, that "ding -ding- ding-ding." I was just in the studio rehearsal room during one day and playing with the guitar and those notes started coming out, just a little motif on the guitar. I played it a few times, and I put some DDL's and other effects on it and started playing again and it sort of pinged out and sounded nice and I said "oh, that's really great." Roger really got off on it, he got exactly the same from it as I was getting from it. I don't know quite how it happened, but those sort of things happen. That was like the start of, gave us the start for making the whole record."

To me the reference to Syd is obvious, but I did not find a confirmation for this, so maybe I am imagining ... It is a very pathetic song, full of tenderness and emotion.

So : "What have we found ? The same old fears, wish you were here" !

In Britain, the album hit number one in its second week on the charts. EMI could not supply the unprecedented demand. Even with its pressing plants working overtime, the company had to inform retailers that only fifty percent of each order could be filled. At the time, "Wish You Were Here" was the fastest-selling of all Pink Floyd albums, topping record charts the world over.

The "supporting" tour which finsihed BEFORE the album release, was an absolute success. In The US, within hours, all of the dates were sold out, breaking all records. Concerts at the L.A. Sports Arena, sold all of the 67,000 tickets (four concerts) in a single day. An additional show sold out within hours.

Five stars of course and the absolutely all time best album of the Floyd IMO. Not a single poor nor average track. Unprecedended (even DSOTM got his "On The Run" one).

ZowieZiggy | 5/5 |

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